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"What television does is rent us friends and relatives who are quite satisfactory. This is quite something, to rent artificial friends and relatives right inside the house."
- Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Speaker Chips  
  Integrated circuit chips placed in books; they could read the book and advertise it.  

I think I can wait for this product. It is bad enough that bookstores place little slivers of metal here and there in the book, as antitheft devices.

Without thinking, Kaye turned right and found herself in the religious section. Most of the shelves were filled with brightly colored apocalypse novels. The E-paper holograms leaped from lurid covers as she passed: endtime, rapture, revelation, demons and dark angels. Most of the books had speaker chips that could read out the entire story. The same chips replaced jacket copy with vocal come-ons. The shelves murmured softly in a wave, like ghosts triggered by Kaye's brief passage.
From Darwin's Children, by Greg Bear.
Published by Del Rey in 2003
Additional resources -

You can actually find real things like this on shelves in stores - just not in United States. I saw a light saber that a friend of mine had purchased for his son in Japan. The light saber had a voice chip installed inside it; when you bought the device in its original package, the light saber was connected to the package. You could push buttons on the outside of the package, and the light saber would tell you, in Japanese, about the product.

I guess I should be glad that those little slivers of metal used as anti-theft devices can't talk. Hearing "I hope you intend to pay for me..." over and over would be irritating.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Darwin's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Greg Bear
  Tech news articles related to Darwin's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Greg Bear

Speaker Chips-related news articles:
  - Product RFID Tags Now Play Jingles
  - VW Talking Newspaper Ad

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BookTrack Adds Sound To Books

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